Sofia Jakobsson out with ACL injury

Following on from the news that Sweden teammate Emilia Appelqvist had damaged her ACL last month and so too Montpellier teammate Morgane Nicoli had injured her ACL last week, Sofia Jakobsson is the latest to be side-lined with a similar complaint.

Bad timing

The current top goalscorer in Division 1 Féminine, Jakobsson has helped propel MHSC to the top two in France and after a strong start to the season was firing on all cylinders when she joined up with the Swedish team for their Spanish training camp last month. Opening the scoring against Norway with a deft header, Jakobsson’s French form looked to be spilling over into her national performances, stabilising her in attack and opening up new partnerships for Pia Sundhage to test out ahead of the Euros.

However, all dreams of Euro glory have already began to fade for the Örnsköldsvik native after she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee after the joint gave way in training on Monday. Jakobsson is due to undergo surgery on the injury within two weeks but Sweden national team doctor Houman Ebrahimi expects the striker to be out for the best part of a year.

ACL injuries are typically ones that require a lengthy rehab and Ebrahimi doubts Jakobsson will be back in less than nine months but can’t see any reason why the striker won’t come back from the injury even if it does put an early end to her 2016-17 season.

Problems and options for Sweden

Barring a super-human lightening fast comeback, Jakobsson’s chance of going to Holland for the forthcoming European Championships are razor-thin and national coach, Sundhage will have an important role to fill.

Having started both games in Spain, Jakobsson looked like a certain starter in the Netherlands but with the Algarve Cup looming at the start of next month, Sundhage will have an early chance to call up a suitable replacement for the rangy attacker. Although the injury may just mean a larger role for former Linköping pair Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfö, the duo both busy carving out a starting role for themselves over the last year.

Looking to Sweden’s bench for the Norway and England friendlies it’s hard to forget that Lotta Schelin was brought on a substitute for both and a starting spot could easily fall to the Rosengård woman. There are further options back in Sweden for Sundhage who has been keen to include Göteborg’s Pauline Hammarlund in recent camps, a strong 2016 could mean a look-in for Eskilstuna’s Mimmi Larsson or former Umeå striker, Lina Hurtig whose career has been blighted by her own injuries.

Whilst there are plenty of other attackers or attacking midfielders Sundhage could call on, Jakobsson’s presence and individual talents will be sorely missed from the side.

Problems and options for Montpellier

A key component to Montpellier’s league success, Jean-Louis Saez will be looking to winter signings Janice Cayman and Blackstenius to pick up the slack, the pair already vastly important in their handful of appearances for La Paillade.

If fully-fit the young French trio of Clarisse Le Bihan, Marie-Charlotte Léger and Lindsey Thomas will all be given time to impress on the pitch when they may have been fighting for a starting spot. Laëtitia Tonazzi will also be looking to rekindle some of her previous form in front of goal, as well as continuing to lead the team as best she can, calling on her experience in the young side.

With a big game against Juvisy scheduled for this coming weekend, Saez will have little time to hammer out his best starting XI a win imperative as MHSC look to hold onto their spot in the top-two. A Coupe de France quarter final tie looming too before another big game at the end of the month when Montpellier host Lyon.

VAVEL wishes Sofia Jakobsson all the best with her rehab.